- Will a Jury Hear My Personal Injury Case?
- January 7, 2019 | Author: Graham Scofield
- Law Firm: Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC - Atlanta Office
- Most people prefer to live in peace and avoid lawsuits. Unfortunately, accident victims often have to sue the careless individual that injured them because the careless individual’s insurance carrier won’t agree to pay the accident victim fair compensation for their losses.95% of civil lawsuits in the United States are settled prior to trial. That means that 5% of cases do go to trial. Your personal injury lawsuit might be among those 5% of cases that must be resolved by a jury trial.
How Does The Jury Evaluate How Much Compensation To Offer Me For My Losses?
The jury typically makes its decision by evaluating the following types of evidence that are presented at trial:
- Your testimony
- The testimony of the negligent individual that harmed you
- Testimony from eyewitnesses, such as a driver in a vehicle that wasn’t involved in the accident, but who saw the accident occur
- Testimony from your friends, family, co-workers or other people that have observed you before you were injured, and after you were injured, so that they can help the jury understand how the accident changed your life
- Testimony from the lead doctor(s) that treated you for your injuries
- Testimony from expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists, or life care planners
- Your medical records and medical bills
- Your lost wages
Once all of the evidence is submitted, your attorney has the opportunity to make a closing argument to the jury. At that time, your attorney will explain to the jury how it can fairly compensate you, using a simple formula that takes into account all of the harms and losses that you suffered based upon the careless individual’s misconduct.
What if The Jury Doesn’t Like Me?
Many accident victims are anxious about going to trial because they fear that it is a “beauty contest” where the jury will quickly size them up and make a snap judgment based upon whether they like the victim or not.
In our firm’s experience, juries are actually much more thoughtful about how they evaluate a case. They carefully listen to all of the testimony and review the documentary evidence before reaching their decision. They do want to hear from you, however, so that they can understand the impact that the defendant’s misconduct has had upon your life.
We will take as much time as you need to get you prepared for trial. Although no attorney can eliminate all of your anxieties, a seasoned, empathetic lawyer will empower you to shine on your big day in court.
How Do I Know Whether I Should Settle My Case Instead of Going to Trial?
Trial is risky for everyone. If the jury rules in your favor, the defendant’s insurance company might have to pay you hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars in compensation. If the jury rules in the defendant’s favor, you won’t recover anything.
In an effort to avoid the risk of going to trial, both sides try at some point to resolve the case through an out-of-court settlement. Nowadays, most judges even order the parties to participate in mediation before trial. Mediation is a process in which a neutral mediator tries to help the parties resolve the case before trial.
Sometimes, the insurance company offers so little compensation that you have no choice but to go to trial to obtain justice for your losses. Other times, the insurance company makes an offer that’s less than you prefer, but you might be willing to accept it in order to obtain closure and avoid the risks of trial.
One of your attorney’s responsibilities is to advise you about whether you should or should not accept an insurance company’s settlement offer. Your attorney will perform jury verdict research that shows what juries typically award accident victims with injuries similar to yours in the county in which you filed your lawsuit. That way, you can know whether it’s in your best interest to settle your lawsuit instead of going to trial.